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What's the Deal Hardcover – September 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1190L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792270134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792270133
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Despite the catchy title that suggests a narrative with a light touch, this is a straightforward, well-researched, and smoothly written book of political history. Blumberg tells the story of the clash of the competing interests of France, England, and Spain for control over New Orleans and the vast "wasteland" beyond the Mississippi River. She charts the tangled web of diplomacy, treaties made and broken, and the unexpected consequences of events seemingly unrelated to the new government in America. The Queen of Spain desired land in Italy, Toussaint L'Ouverture destroyed a French army in St. Domingue, and Napoleon overrode all advice and chose to sell the Louisiana territory if President Jefferson could meet his price. The author makes an exciting and suspenseful tale out of the negotiations and the people involved in a political bargain that would determine the future of the United States. Students of political science and American history will welcome this title with its maps, timeline, and bibliography. Casual readers and history buffs, attracted by the numerous black-and-white reproductions and clever political cartoons of the period, will enjoy the fast-paced, behind-the-scenes account of one of the most important "deals" in our country's past.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In Blumberg's talented hands, an event often depicted as just one more musty land deal from the olden days becomes a vibrant tale of greed, double-dealing, and political finesse. Befitting the dramatic telling, the book opens with a "Cast of Characters," identifying the movers and shakers in the Louisiana territory's 120-year history. With balance, clarity, and spirit, Blumberg presents the complex history of fluid political alliances and the ever-present threat of war, explaining political motivations as well as political acts to give readers a sense of why the territory was important and how it was eventually acquired. She also makes it clear that the deal wasn't a foregone conclusion: Napoleon could have refused to negotiate; Britain could have joined the U.S. in a war to claim the territory. In fact, Blumberg ends her last chapter by proposing a few alternate histories, answering the "what if" questions that textbooks never ask. Divided into short sections within short chapters, the text is accessible enough to appeal to struggling readers. Its readability is further enhanced by a large format and generously spaced layout, which allows for full-page, black-and-white reproductions of oil paintings, engravings, and sketches. This is a welcome blend of scholarship, historical drama, and handsome design. Source notes, bibliography, time line. Randy Meyer

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What's The Deal is 144 pages with about 60 illustrations taking up a half page or full page. These are paintings, ink drawings, and newspaper cartoons. The book begins with a six page list of a "case of characters," with a 2-sentence thumbnail description of each, for example, Rene-Robert La Salle (French explorer who claimed the Louisiana Territory in 1682), James Madison and Robert Livingston (negotiated the Louisiana Purchase Treaty), King Louis XV (gave Louisiana Territory to Spain, that is, to his cousin King Charles III of Spain), and Napoleon (took back the Louisiana Territory and sold it to the U.S.).

Although What's The Deal was written for the "school market," the writing style is never condescending, and there is plenty for any adult to learn.

SPAIN RULES OVER LOUISIANA TERRITORY. At the outset, we learn that the French kings, King Louis XIV and XV, as well as King Charles III failed to see any real value of the Louisiana Territory. We learn of the first three Spanish governors of the Louisiana Territory, Don de Ulloa, "Bloody" O'Reilly, and Don de Unzaga.

BAD BEHAVIOR OF FRENCH. We learn of Edmond Genet of France, sent as a minister to the U.S. He arrived in the U.S. in 1793, and commissioned some privately owned ships, and tried to capture Spanish ships and English ships. Genet's goal was to enlist U.S. citizens to liberate Louisiana from the Spain, for the benefit of France. Eventually, everybody (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and French government) got disgusted with Genet, and the French gave up on its plot and recalled Genet.

MORE BAD BEHAVIOR OF FRENCH. But the French kept up their bad behavior, and seized American ships and raided American commerce. The French asked the U.S.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
SEE *Starred Review of "School and Library Journal --- a rave review. eg. quotes: The author makes an exciting and suspenseful tale out of the negotiations" ..."Students of polotical science and American history will welcome this title." Book written by Newbery Honor winner, and recpient of many prestigious awards.
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By Drwamsbooks on September 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Fast shipping. Product was as described.
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